Waist circumference and mid-upper arm circumference in evaluation of obesity in children aged between 6 and 17 years

M Mümtaz Mazıcıoğlu, Nihal Hatipoğlu, Ahmet Oztürk, Betül Ciçek, H Bahri Ustünbaş, Selim Kurtoğlu
Journal of Clinical Research in Pediatric Endocrinology 2010, 2 (4): 144-50

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine the cut-off values for waist circumference (WC) and mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) and to assess their use in screening for obesity in children.

METHODS: Anthropometric measurements of a total of 2621 boys and 2737 girls aged 6-17 years were analyzed. WC and MUAC values were compared with ROC analysis using body mass index (BMI) cut-off values of the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) and using WC≥ 90th percentile.for MUAC.

RESULTS: In both genders, except for boys and girls in the 6-year age group and post-pubertal boys, the differences between area under curve (AUC) values for WC and MUAC were not significant, indicating that both indices performed equally well in predicting obesity. Sensitivity was suboptimal through age groups 6-9 years in the boys and sensitivity was suboptimal at 6, 7,14 and 17 years both in boys and girls.

CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that MUAC can be a useful parameter in screening obesity and body fat distribution in children and, can be applied in epidemiological studies and in clinical practice.

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